Using chipped branch wood

Asked October 6, 2016, 12:08 PM EDT

Hello, Is it safe to use chipped branch wood on my vegetable garden? I understand that if the branches from deciduous trees are chipped at about 2" in diameter, they are very beneficial at helping to build the soil web. We could chip our fruit tree thinnings but would never have enough to cover our 2800 sq ft. garden. Are there any sources for this product in the McMinnville area? Also, is mint compost safe for vegetables? Thank you, Cathy Dorner

Yamhill County Oregon mulch horticulture vegetable gardening

1 Response

Hi, thanks for the great questions!

Here is an article on using wood chips in your landscaping,

It says that: the materials(wood chips) vary in their size and decomposition rate, creating a more diverse environment that houses a diversity of microbes, insects and other organisms. A biologically diverse soil community is more resistant to environmental disturbance and will in turn support a diverse and healthy plant population.

Read it here: http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS160E/FS160E.pdf

They also suggest to: Add a thin under layer of compost. Before installing wood chips for the first time, create a thin underlying layer of a more nutrient-rich mulch (like compost, Figure 8) if there are concerns about nutrient deficiencies. This “mulch sandwich” approach is a logical one that mimics what you would see in the mulch layer of a forest ecosystem. It’s not required, though, and over time a wood chip mulch will develop this same structure as the lower layers break down.

I would avoid putting mint in the compost pile, it might survive and take root all over you garden.

Check for free wood chips from your local tree trimming professionals. Maybe they will drop off free wood chips from local yards. Tell them what you want to use the chips for, you don't wood from trees that are diseased or sprayed.

local arborists here >>> http://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/findanarborist.aspx

Or use Google, search for "97128 wood chips"